Theatre of Youth painted the town pink for Curtain Up! with a spotlights outside the Allendale Theatre, the interior dome illuminated in a pastel blush, and, onstage, a recast and reworked production of the longtime favorite, "Pinkalicious."
Fun and sharp, and sprinkled with a pleasant amount of emotional sugar, the show is positively pink-tastic.
The musical was adapted for stage by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann from their book of the same name. It tells the age-old story of a little girl, Pinkalicious, who loves pink so much she puts a super-duper extra helping of food coloring in the pink cupcakes her mother is making. The pastries are so perfectly pink, Pinkalicious can't help pigging out on them. Then it happens: She turns pink herself, from her pretty pink hair to her perky pink toes.
She has contracted acute Pinkititis, which Dr. Wink (Dominique Kempf) describes in song as a near neighbor of gingivitis with a dash of beriberi.
Sabrina Kahwaty is a sweetheart in the title role, playing Pinkalicious Pinkerton with contagious pep. Marta Aracelis shows practical poise as her mother, Mrs. Pinkerton, but Mr. Pinkerton (Kevin Kennedy) has some shockingly pink-related issues of his own, which he eventually admits, to his tremendous relief. That, in turn, explains the problems young Peter Pinkerton (Mike Benoit) is going through. He is Pinkalicious's brother, but he feels like an outcast, unable to get noticed by his parents except when he's being told that HE can't like pink.
He does like pink. He likes it a lot, and he tells everyone so in the sad but laugh-inducing lament, "I Got the Pink Blues."
"Pinkalicious" owes much of its popularity to its tongue-in-cheek musical numbers by John Gregor, who does some shameless borrowing from popular songs and musical styles and then piles them with jokes for all ages. The results are an incitement to having fun, and because the people on stage are so clearly doing just that, the audience, whether age 4 or 40 or 64, is pulled right along with them.
Best of all, the Pinkerton family has some real down-to-earth advice to pass along. Although the family motto is "You get what you get, and you don't get upset," they also learn that getting what you want isn't always for the best, and that doing the right thing isn't necessarily hard.
Kurt Guba directed with a light-hearted hand and Keith Ersing served as vocal director. The 11-year-old who saw the show with me was inspired by Kenneth Shaw's innovative set design and the fact that he chose not to make it entirely pink. If you need to turn someone into a giant dancing cupcake, put wardrobe designer Barbara Priore at the top of your list.
Because of its coloring, "Pinkalicious" could be mistaken as a show just for little girls, and that isn't the case. Pinkalicious is a mischievous as any Victorian street urchin, and Peter's story of acceptance is what gives the show its heart. Bring the boys along.
"Pinkalicious: The Musical"
3.5 stars (out of 4)
A little girl's dreams about her favorite color come shockingly true and lead to all sorts of self-discovery by her family in a fast-paced musical for all ages and genders. Presented by Theatre of Youth at the Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St., through Oct. 7. For tickets, go to theatreofyouth.org or call 884-4400.